Shortland Street: Will Maia become a mother?

Shortland Street Weeknights, 7.00pm

After numerous setbacks, Maia Jeffries’ quest for a child finally gathers momentum this week on Shortland Street when she meets Kirk Wheeler.

Kirk (Richard Thompson) is a gay man who has helped other lesbian couples in their quest to have children, and upon meeting Maia (Anna Jullienne) he agrees to help her too. However, Maia’s family’s initial delight at the news soon turns sour when it is discovered that Kirk wants to play an active role as co-parent.
Actress Anna Jullienne admits her character is untroubled by Kirk’s desire to be involved in the child’s life, despite mother Yvonne Jeffries’ (Alison Quigan) venomous reservations. After all, being a solo parent is never an easy task. “Maia met Kirk through another lesbian. He is a lovely guy and seems to have good morals,” Anna says. “It seems like the whole thing would work out quite well. Her family, and especially her mother, have always said it would be easier if she had the support of another parent.” Yvonne’s primary concern is that a stranger will be imposed on the family, and the irony is far from wasted on Anna.

“It is quite ironic as Yvonne had originally not wanted Maia to raise the baby alone, but now she has changed tact completely,” says Anna. “It’s not something that Maia is entirely happy about. She just needs support from her family at this time. It’s a difficult enough situation without them getting over involved.”

In a perfect situation, Maia would be in a long-term relationship with a woman, and Anna acknowledges that none of the potential circumstances are, “Orthodox by any stretch”. The best situation Maia can think of would be to have brother-in-law Mark Weston (Tim Foley) co-parent her child, but sister Tania Jeffries (Faye Smythe) terminated that idea when she reconciled and married her estranged lover. It now appears Yvonne may be on Maia’s wavelength for the first time.

“Maia has a strong bond with Mark and sees him as the perfect candidate to be the donor. Although the Mark scenario is far from ideal, as far as Yvonne’s concerned, at least he is family. She knows nothing about Kirk’s background and is worried about his reasons for wanting to co-parent.” No matter what decision is reached, Anna admits Maia is prepared to raise the child with or without the help of another parent. It is now just a matter of becoming pregnant with the baby she has always dreamed of.

“She just wants a baby and has come to grips with the fact that she may have to raise it alone. It’s not an ideal situation but she is really positive about it. Kirk fits the bill and if he wants to help raise her child, then she is more than happy for that to be the case too.”

Will Maia be a mother? Find out this week on Shortland Street, TV2 weeknights at 7.00pm.

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